Engelmann Spruce

A pair of mature, open-grown trees in the White Cloud Mtns. of Idaho [C.J. Earle, 2017.08.22].
Source: https://www.conifers.org/pi/Picea_engelmannii.php

Latin (group) name: Picea
Latin (specific) name: Picea Engelmanni (Parry)
Average max height: 80' to 150'
Average diameter: Up to 5'
Associated state: none
Category: American Woods
The Softwoods - Conifers

The Tree

The Engelmann Spruce is a tall, narrow, well-shaped tree 80 to 150 feet tall with trunk diameter up to five feet. The tree grows in the higher mountains of the west at elevations of 4,000 to 12,000 feet. The trunk is straight and slightly tapering. The bark is a dark purplish brown to a russet color, and has small loose thin overlapping scales scarcely one-half inch thick. The needles, which are a deep blue-green color, are about an inch long, flexible and soft but four-angled and rather flat pointed, with a tendency to curve forward. The cones are a light chocolate color, have smooth scales, and are about two inches long. Good seed crops are produced every three or four years, the seed remaining fertile in the soft duff of the forest floor for several years. The tree is named in honor of Dr. George Engelmann, a distinguished American physician and botanist, who first identified and classified this particular spruce species about 1860-1865.

Engelmann Spruce cone crop
Engelmann Spruce cone crop
engelmann spruce tree bark
Engelmann Spruce tree bark
engelmann spruce foliage
Engelmann Spruce foliage

Common Names in Use

  • Engelmann’s Spruce (Utah, Idaho)
  • Balsam (Utah)
  • Arizona Spruce (Cal., lit.)
  • Mountain Spruce (Mont.)
  • Silver Spruce (Colo.)
  • White Pine (Utah, Idaho)
  • White Spruce (Oreg., Colo., Utah, Idaho)

Growth Range

The growth range of Englemann Spruce extends from British Columbia and western Alberta southward through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, to small, scattered stands in Nevada and northern California.

The Wood

The heartwood of Englemann Spruce is a very light creamy-white color with a light reddish-brown or light-yellowish tinge. The narrow sapwood is one-half to two inches thick and a light-creamy color rather difficult to distinguish from the heart-wood were it not for the reddish tinge of the latter. The resin ducts are few in number and small but serve to distinguish this wood from that of the various firs. The wood is straight-grained, light in weight, medium stiff, soft, and has a fine texture. It is without odor or distinguishing taste. It is very easily worked and glued.

engelmann spruce guitar set
Engelmann Spruce guitar set


Engelmann Spruce is excellent for making fine quality paper of many kinds. It is very good lumber for construction purposes, subfloors, sheathing and dimension lumber. Because of its light weight and strength this wood has been used to some extent in airplane construction. It is also used for interior trim, sash, doors, railroad ties, posts and poles.


  • Shelley E. Schoonover (American Woods) 1951 (Watling & Co. ) Santa Monica, CA 

Contributors to this page: admin .
Page last modified on Thursday October 17, 2019 19:23:59 PDT by admin.